THE ADDRESS Magazine Summer 2014 - Page 323

there. Foreigners from 162 nations conducted transactions during the year, with India coming first, followed by the United Kingdom and Pakistan. The survey found that citizens of the Gulf States contributed AED33 billion. Investment from the Emirates accounted for AED24 billion, while Saudi Arabia accounted for AED4.6 billion and Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait a total of AED1 billion. Arab investors from outside of the Gulf States also contributed significantly to real estate activity last year, with their total value of investment amounting to more than AED 12 billion. The total value of non-Arab investment in Dubai came to AED69 billion. India accounted for AED18 billion, the United Kingdom AED10.4 billion and Pakistan AED8.6 billion. Other non-Arab investors in order were Iran, Russia, Canada, the United States, China, France and Germany. Overseas investors have been encouraged by new investor friendly legislation and a rising confidence in returns on property investments. Another indicator of the recovery in the Dubai market is the number of projects that are now being launched. A leading developer, Emaar, announced seven new projects in the first eight weeks of this year. The company said its total value of sales in Dubai for 2013 was AED12 billion, nearly three times the amount in 2012. Expectations are that with Dubai winning the bid to host Expo 2020, the city will generate even more foreign interest. Dubai Sports City increasingly popular Buyers and renters interested in Dubai property continue to gravitate toward Dubai Marina, but competition from Sports City is growing fast, statistics show. Real estate portal PropertyFinder said 18.67% of nearly two million visitors were looking for Marina housing to buy and another 18.41% were looking for rentals in the same location. Also popular are Downtown, Palm Jumeirah and Jumeirah Lake Towers. But coming up fast is Dubai Sports City. While it did not even make the Top 10 list last year, it rose to eighth place in the most recent quarter. Also enjoying rising popularity is Jumeirah Village Circle, moving to seventh place from 12th, while International City made the Top 10 for the first time. The report also pointed out that home prices have been recorded at the highest levels since the downturn and the market has also gained a more favourable reputation for tighter regulation A new rental decree allows rents to be increased by 5% if they are 11% below the market rate for the area. The law applies to private and public sector properties in Dubai, as well as those in the free zones. Property buyers are looking for real value although lifestyle is a key driver Discerning buyers are searching the globe for places that offer the best real estate values. In the Knight Frank report, “Global Opportunities”, it is reported that buyer confidence is on the upturn as lending criteria are relaxed, employment is picking up and interest rates remain low. Using figures gleaned from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, the report lists countries where housing markets are overvalued and undervalued. Leading the list of countries where there is the highest risk of a price correction are Norway, Canada and Belgium. Prices are still rising there and the declines that hit Europe, the UK and the United States post 2008 passed them by. 323